Dehydrating Squash Epic Fail

Last year we had a bumper crop of zucchini.  After our zucchini harvest season was long over I came across a post for zucchini chips. I thought I would definitely try it this year. Well, this year none of our zucchini plants did anything. We even replanted them. We may have had bad seeds. Luckily, we still have quite a bit in the freezer from last year. Last year we did not plant any summer squash. This year we did and it is doing well and we are experiencing a lot of squash.

So, I searched the ole internet to see if I could dehydrate squash into squash chips like the zucchini chip post I had seen. I did indeed find some posts suggesting squash or zucchini could be dehydrated. So, Jon and I thought we’d give it a try and see how it turned out. We only did a couple of squash as we were not sure how this experiment would go. We sliced the squash about 1/8 inch thick. This was done by hand so there was a slight variance in thickness. However, Jon is a wiz with a knife from all of his years in the restaurant business and they were pretty darn consistent for not using a mandolin.
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Making Beef Jerky

This weekend I decided to dehydrate a batch of beef jerky. Store bought jerky is so expensive and is full of preservatives too. Since I just bought the dehydrator, I wanted to use the jerky seasoning that came with it first.

The directions had two options, ground meat and sliced meat. I am not a fan of ground, compressed, jerky so I went the other route.

I mixed the following together:

  • Contents of the Nesco seasoning and cure packets
  • 1/4 cup of water.
  • Added a tsp of worcestershire sauce (just because I like it)
  • Added tsp pepper (jerky must have plenty of pepper)

I marinated 1 lb of sirloin steak that Jon had sliced in thin strips (less than 1/4 in) over night (approximately 9 hours)
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Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator

I have been in want of a food dehydrator for some time. I used to have one many moons ago, but I never got around to replacing it. Not too long ago I found a blog post for zucchini chips by The Creative Home and then shortly after came across a review of the Excalibur dehydrator. This rejuvenated my quest for a food dehydrator.

I had inevitably looked at Walmart first. I then turned to Amazon where I do a lot of shopping. I despise going to the store and shopping. I absolutely love shopping online if I can get a good product and deal with little to no shipping charge. I also happened to have a gift card for Amazon that I had received for Christmas.

There were so many options on Amazon that range from $28 to $385! Although the Excalibur received a glowing review I just cannot fathom spending $200 to $300 on a food dehydrator for the home. That just seems excessive to me. So, I set my limit in the $60ish range and started looking there. I like to read the reviews when available and there were many.

I opted on the Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator for the low low price of $30 and got a 2-pack of the easy clean screens to see how they worked. You can also get the fruit roll-up screens as accessories. All of us have outgrown fruit roll-ups so I did not purchase those.

Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator Packaging

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